An amendment to a life-saving city law kicks in next month, meaning a lot of city property owners and landlords are replacing carbon monoxide detectors by next month. NY1's Monica Brown filed the following report.
A combination smoke and carbon monoxide detector has a shelf life of seven years, the Real Estate Board of New York's Residential Management Council says landlords should now be installing them in all residential apartments.
"This is a clear, odorless gas. That is not detectable except for this detector. So this detector does save lives. It alerts people to smoke as well, in terms of the recommendation from the council. And a life saved? Priceless," says Michael Wolfe of REBNY's Residential Management Council.
A 2004 New York City law required CO detectors in all residential units but a 2011 amendment that kicks in next month says property owners and landlords must replace those that exist when the manufacturer recommends it, or by October 12, whichever comes later.
The RMC issued guidelines for landlords who may need a reminder to take a second look at what is there now, and see if it is time to update.
"The superintendents are taking inventory of each apartment, and they're supplying their management companies with the number of units they need," says Wolfe.
The law requires a detector be installed within 15 feet of each bedroom, and that it is equipped with an alarm that tells the resident when it is time to be replaced. To eliminate guesswork, the council says it is a good idea to install new ones all at the same time.
"In addition, these installations have to reported to various government agencies, and records have to be kept by the landlord as to these installations," says REBNY counsel Eva Talel. "So having a date certain, as we would call it, by which time you have installed your new detector is a very good way of keeping compliance easy."
The property owner or manager should make sure the detector is properly installed and that it is working. Renters should also receive information about testing and maintenance, and what to do if the detector goes off.
While the landlord is responsible for installing CO detectors, the tenant is ultimately responsible for changing the batteries and maintaining the unit, all of which could save lives. For more specific guidelines, visit REBNY.com.